By Abdullahi Yusuf (Abdool)
The viral tape of Chrisland School, Lagos, has become a trending topic lately due to its indecency and the nature of the people involved (i.e. children).
But before we conclude on whether the act involved rape or not, let’s look at the bigger picture, which is questioning the moral upbringing of the kids involved, who are obviously at the initial stage of puberty (below 13 years of age). We can all believe that it is too early for them to have such a bad experience at this young age. But who is to be blamed for this?
The 21st century has come along with many technological advancements. Some of these are of optimal benefit to humanity but detrimental to morality in some aspects. Contemporarily, one can access information and things we merely hear about in the olden days.
Internet is one of the goodies of this century. It enables its users to access what happens around the world quickly. Internet helps one learn a lot of things and get exposed to global opportunities with ease, while on the contrary, it holds a lot of negativities, especially for our younger ones.
We can’t dodge away from the reality of the moment, but we can put a lot of effort into making sure the negativities of the moment do not corrupt our progeny or us.
Parental negligence is the major contributing factor to the immorality we are experiencing. Parents nowadays show an unreasonable love to their children, which haunts them when they can no longer protect themselves or the children. This love gradually exposes the evil in the children due to a lack of due diligence in discharging parental responsibilities by the parent.
In the olden days, a total stranger could discipline a child for misbehaviour, and the child’s parent would appreciate the stranger for helping them do the right thing. But unfortunately, in the present time, a neighbour cannot punish a child for any misdemeanour because doing that could instigate the wrath of the child’s parent, and they would fight back as if punishing their child is a felony.
I could remember a scenario I read about on Twitter not long ago. A lady who visited her aunt narrated the story. She was necessitated to make a call and realised that her phone was out of credit which compelled her to borrow the phone of her aunt’s son, who was about 14 years of age, to make the urgent call. When using the phone, a video suddenly came in through WhatsApp, and she became curious to see what had just come in. She was shocked when she saw a nude sent to the boy by a young lady who happened to be his classmate. So she went through his chat with the same young lady to ascertain the fact. What she saw was devastating. She realised that the boy had been in a sexual relationship with that girl for a very long time.
In the above scenario, the parents are unaware of what’s going on with their child. He has been destroying his life without their knowledge due to their negligence. Their contribution to his misbehaviour is massive as they provided him with a phone and never cared to monitor what he was doing with it.
Typical African parents find it disgusting to give sexual orientation to their children. They think doing it is immoral, while not doing it causes more harm than good to our contemporary society.
Sex education to children is not about telling them about sexual intercourse; it’s about orienting children about their sexuality, sexual abuse, and what they should know about the sensitive parts of their body and acts they should consider as molestation. It is also about gender stereotypes and limitations concerning their morphology and physiology.
In conclusion, being a parent means being a protector, a teacher, a guide and a counsellor to the child. As a parent, don’t ever become reluctant to discharge your sole responsibility. Whenever you fail as a parent means unlocking an element of distress to society, which will strain you before diffusing to the larger community.
Abdullahi Yusuf (Abdool) studies at the Department of Human Kinetics and Health Education, Bayero University, Kano. He wrote from Kaduna State via email@example.com.